I’m amazed at my own capacity for stupidity.
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been writing long blog posts, pretending that New Music Strategies is not a blog, but is instead something larger, or more weighty. And it’s given me the opportunity to work through some fundamentals in a more indepth way, but I have done in the place of writing something more blog-like.
Let me tell you why I did it, why I’m not stopping, but why I’m changing the approach a little.
Why I did it:
In order to think, I need to do it out loud. I work through these things and sometimes I get some really helpful feedback. The feedback that tells me I’m wrong is the most helpful feedback – even (or especially) when I consider that feedback and decide that I had actually got it right, but perhaps didn’t explain it as clearly as I would have liked.
In the past 18 months, there’s been a multiplicity of blogs springing up, on which reasonably intelligent people say reasonably intelligent things about the online environment as it relates to popular music. I went from being one of very few to one of very many (though of course, I was far from the first). So as not to duplicate the efforts of others (or be shown up as inadequate when compared to how thorough and on-to-it some of them are), I took the blog in a different direction: one of analysis rather than reportage.
Why I’m not stopping:
I still think there’s an abundance of great people saying interesting things in a reactive fashion to what’s going on in the music business. Just check out those sidebar links.
I think I might be one of the only people talking about music online in the way that I do: from a broadly media ecology perspective. From the feedback I’ve had at seminars and conferences recently, in consultations and via personal feedback, it seems that to some people, that’s useful stuff.
Why I’m changing my approach:
I spend all day telling people about the internet and how to make the most of it. I prioritise regularity and brevity. I tell them to make the most of the long tail and put as much out there as you can – even if it’s not 100% finished or right. And yet, I agonise over these lengthy epistles and one comes out once a week if we’re lucky.
In other words, New Music Strategies may have been aiming for a deeper understanding of the online environment, but hadn’t been actually putting any of those understandings into practice.
So – expect that to change a little.
Of course, I’m still going to be doing the long, bookish thought pieces. I’m still going to be steering clear from reporting ‘this thing happened’ or ‘look at what’s happening to such-and-such a company’ – but rather than just stay in a linear path, where the next blog post follows on structurally and thematically from the one before, I’m just going to post what I think as I think it.
There’ll be some constructed, indepth, analytical pieces – and there’ll be some observation and anecdote as well. Might as well practice what I preach, right?